No ads have been saved yet.
Your last viewed and saved ads will appear here

What Should Be In Your Equine First Aid Kit? Hesteyri Horses Show Us Theirs!

Most of us know that we should have an extensive first aid kit on the yard at all times, but there is a huge difference between having an idea of what is actually useful for many occasions, and staring at the First Aid section in your tack store, without knowing what to spend money on!

So, what should we have in our first aid kits?

A clean bowl – This can be used for mixing up a solution of Hibiscrub and water; very important for cleaning any wounds. You can also use a water bucket if carefully rinsed out. If you don’t have Hibiscrub you can use hot water and table salt, although Hibi is a very handy thing to have around.

We often make up plastic tubs of Hibiscrub and then add a few sections of cotton wool into it and seal it up so that it's ready to go when we need it. We got the idea from a vet and it works brilliantly – you end up with the equivilent of ready-made wet wipes!

The bowl's clean, just stained with iodine... as is a lot of the packaging in our first aid kit! Top tip – store your iodine in a leak-proof container!

Clippers – Obviously the smaller the better, but we have been known to use big clippers to shave around a wound, it’s no big worry. You can also do some level of the job with scissors, although a bit trickier. What is really important is that you can see the whole wound; when they are hairy it’s hard to assess the damage. It’s also important that no hair can get into the wound, as it’s an infection risk.

Scissors – These are essential, you will need them for cutting dressings and bandages down to size, cutting bits of hair or anything that might get into the wound, and a myriad of other things. We get new pairs regularly because you want them to be really sharp, and it’s important to regularly clean them – the last thing you need in or around a wound is dirt!

Cotton wool – This is very handy for cleaning wounds. You can also use cotton pads or basically anything clean and sanitary. You must throw each bit away and not overuse it and it’s also important not to leave anything in the wound. We like to dilute some Hibiscrub in a tub with some cotton wool, which leaves you with ready to use wipes for wound care!

Dressings – It’s good to have these in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Non-adhesive bandage – We mean a soft bandage here, not a stable bandage and not vet wrap. This will be used to secure dressings in place primarily, although can often have other uses. These can sometimes be reused but must be sterilised, or washed in the washing machine. Never reuse a dirty bandage.

Vet wrap – Probably one of the most used items; we get through an awful lot of it in abscess season! Used for securing things in place, it must always have a soft layer underneath it as it can be quite uncomfortable if placed near the skin.

Cotton wool bandage – This is perfect for wrapping around a dressing/poultice before applying vet wrap, to ensure maximum comfort for your horse.

Duct tape – This can be used for virtually anything! The most important use is underneath foot poultices, as it protects the bandage from becoming dirty and soaking up moisture from the ground.

Stable bandages – If a horse has a leg injury of virtually any kind, bandaging is a very good idea to provide support. Make sure you bandage the pair of legs, or all four, not just one leg. Gamgee or bandage pads underneath are a great idea.

Gamgee - Use under stable bandages. You can also use bandage pads, make sure they are nice and clean!

Animalintex – or other poultice material (nappies are good and very cheap), essential for poulticing abscesses or puncture wounds. The only thing to really be careful of when poulticing is making sure you do not poultice a wound near a joint, as it can draw out joint fluid if the joint capsule is damaged.

Wound spray – Having a spray is really handy as it can help clean the wound out and is fast and easy to apply for smaller scrapes. We have several different sprays: an iodine spray which we use for feet; a purple spray which we use for nicks and scrapes; and an Aloe Vera spray which we use for wounds after washing with water.

Wound cream – It is also useful to have a couple of different creams, one being anti-bacterial and one barrier type cream. The anti-bacterial you can use on just about anything, the barrier cream, reserve for an outside layer to stop flies bothering small cuts.

Our favourites are Aloe Vera Jelly and Aloe Propolis for anti-bacterial (we use them on everything), and NAF ‘Love the Skin’ for everything else! The great thing about ‘Love the Skin’ is that it’s kind to the skin and also deters flies.

Sterile saline – This can be useful for cleaning wounds where you have no available water source. You may need a syringe to apply.

Syringe – We try to keep lots of empty, sterile syringes around; they’re brilliant for oral medication and flushing out wounds with the liquid of your choice. The syringe means that you can pressurise it slightly which can be really useful!

Sun cream – We have tubes of sun cream all over the yard because it’s so vital in summer! Really important for any patches of pink pigmented skin, like on face markings and noses – some horses may need some around their heels when they have white socks too! Avoid using barrier creams high in oil for sun cream, they don’t protect as well and the oil can heat up painfully.

Thermometer – Your horse’s temperature should be around 37-38 degrees. It’s a good idea to monitor your own horse’s normal temperature so that if they’re under the weather, you can tell if they have a temperature that’s unusual for them.

Headtorch – This can be handy, although we usually use the old standby of getting someone to hold a phone torch!

Parasite Poison – It’s really useful to have things like lice spray or powder, mite powder and a spare wormer. We use Deosect for ticks, mites or lice, and we generally have a decent, all bases wormer on standby in our box. Remember that lice and mites are no different from worms. They do not mean that you are neglecting your horses, horses just get them. We poo-pick our fields twice a day and feed the horses mainly from raised hay crates, but they still get worms occasionally! The same can be said for lice and mites; don’t be ashamed if your horse has them, just treat them. It’s great to have powder on hand at the end of winter too, as we like to powder the insides of any rugs which aren’t being sent off for washing. We can then be sure that nothing will be living in them while they are stored for summer.

So that’s our list of things that we regularly use and find essential! We also had some fun and did a little vlog on what is actually in our first aid kit! The video can be found here or at the top of this page.

We hope that this was enjoyable, but also helpful. If you disagree with anything we’ve said here, or you have one to add, let us know!

Thank you for reading and watching. You can check out our Horsemart profile for more content that might be of interest to you, and don’t forget to check out our fellow content contributors with their entertaining and helpful blogs!

Hesteyri Horses
Horsemart Brand Ambassador
Published on 22-07-2020
Hesteyri Horses are comprised of Meg and Lauren, based in Gloucestershire. They are a family owned horse training yard dedicated to helping all horse’s and ponies. “We are horse trainers with a difference. As well as our usual backing, training and competing, we also work with a lot of rescue and ‘problem’ horses. This started because almost all of our own horses were rescues or rejects of some form and we became known for being the girls who would work with any horse and make sure they all have as many chances as they need.”